Chiropractic treatments for pediatric plantar fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful syndrome of the Plantar Fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. Typical symptoms include pain under the heel and along the raised arch of the foot.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis include:

  • excessive walking on hard surfaces;
  • shoes with little or no arch support;
  • weight gain; or
  • a sudden increase in activity.

Tight calf muscles can also lead to persistent over-pronation of the foot, causing pain in the Plantar Fascia.

This injury is best treated by rest, or by alleviating the pressure on the foot until the pain subsides. Taping the Fascia with zinc oxide tape can reduce pressure and allow the foot to heal. Regularly applying an ice pack can reduce pain and inflammation. This will not, however, assist with long-term recovery, so learning stretching techniques for the Plantar Fascia is advised.

In acute cases, where regular treatment has not eased the condition, it is wise to consult a sports injury professional. Painkillers or sports massage may be prescribed for symptomatic relief. A professional may also prescribe custom insoles to relieve pressure and prevent future pain.

While painful, Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that can be easily remedied with careful treatment and prevention.


Plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, is a common musculoskeletal complaint. It can occur at all age groups, although it occurs most frequently in adults. It is considered to be an overuse symptom which develops over time due to repeated stress.

A recent case study sought to examine the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments for treating pediatric plantar fasciitis. The patient, a 10-year-old football player, had bilateral plantar fasciitis which had resulted in pain for the 3 weeks prior to the beginning of treatment. The treatment was administered during 6 visits spanning a 6-week period, and consisted of chiropractic manipulations of the ankle, soft tissue therapy (Graston Technique), and a home exercise and stretching program.

The patient's pain improved with this conservative, multimodal chiropractic approach. In this patient's case, the combination of joint manipulation, GT soft tissue manipulation, and a home exercise program seemed effective. After 6 patients, the patient reported that he was pain-free and better able to participate in daily activities. Three months later, he reported that he was still pain-free.

The researchers concluded that this multimodal chiropractic approach may be effective for treating pediatric heel pain, although more research needs to be done to determine whether the findings from this patient are applicable to others.

Reference

Daniels CJ and Morrell AP. Chiropractic management of pediatric plantar fasciitis: a case report. Journal of Chiropracic Medicine 2012; 11(1): 58-63. doi:  10.1016/j.jcm.2011.06.009.